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Senior Labour Inspectors Committee (SLIC) Knowledge sharing Site (KSS)

OC 83/1

Author Unit/Section:  International Unit

Target Audience:  All HSE Staff

Summary

The SLIC-KSS site was developed by the Committee of Senior Labour Inspectors (SLIC) to improve methods of exchanging information between European labour inspectorates. This OC explains how HSE staff can access European colleagues to obtain or provide information on health and safety issues.

Introduction

1. The SLIC-KSS site is open to the labour inspectorates of the 27 European member states, and the States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The working language of the SLIC-KSS site is English. Information is published in English and questions and answers are formulated by all member states in English.

2. Every State has an authorised national coordinator and deputy, who act as the gateway to the network. They are trained in communication via SLIC-KSS and remain in permanent contact with their counterparts in other European Countries. The HSE coordinator and deputy are based in FOD Headquarters in the Legal and Enforcement team. They are the contact point for HSE staff who either need information to solve a problem or who have solutions for problems raised by another member state.

3. There are no restrictions on the topics that can be raised. The facility is available to ask policy, operational or legislative questions of individual or all other member states, as well as the facility to warn others of health and safety issues about particular companies, products, machinery or technology problems (identifiable data) for which it can reasonably be expected the same serious problem arises in other countries. 

Procedures

4. The following procedures should be followed to enable the smooth process of information sharing;

Introducing a question or warning to EU Member States

HSE staff should contact the coordinator to discuss what is required and by when. The coordinator will provide a form for completion by the initiator, who should then complete it, and return it to the coordinator via the HSE KSS email account. The coordinator will check the detail and if necessary make amendment in consultation with the author.

Should the request contain identifiable data i.e. it contains details of a persons name, a product or company, the coordinator will check with the SLIC-KSS chair, currently the Belgian coordinator, to ensure it is appropriate. If it is not, the coordinator will inform the author of the decision and the reason why.

When the detail is agreed, the document will be posted on the KSS website by the coordinator. Member states have a 6 week period to reply to a question.

If your request is to a specific country then the information can be exchanged by email through the SLIC-KSS site coordinators, there is no need for completion of a form. If this is the case then you should contact the HSE UK coordinator to discuss.

HSE reply to an EU Member State

When there are questions for HSE to answer, the coordinator receives notification of a question or information from other member states via an email to the HSE KSS email account. The coordinator will access the SLIC-KSS site and forward the question to the appropriate expert in HSE and send it to them via email with a deadline for reply, it is important that this deadline is met.

Total time from receipt of the question and answer by HSE is currently 6 weeks, however, there will be occasions when a more urgent reply is required and this will be made known to the expert at the time. Should the deadline be a problem the relevant expert should contact the coordinator to negotiate a suitable alternative. Where there is more than one expert contributing to the answer the coordinator will prepare a single response.

Closure procedure

Three months after having asked a question through SLIC-KSS site, the author must prepare a summary of the replies received and forward to the coordinator who will upload it to the site. The coordinator will remind the author of this at the appropriate time.

Deletion/amendment procedure

Should a document require amendment or removal from the site the author must contact the coordinator with the reason why and, if appropriate, they will arrange for this to be carried out. The coordinator will notify other member states of this action.

5. General information

Updated 2015-06-23